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Art Museum Santa Fe New Mexico

Museum Of Indian Arts & Culture

New Mexico Museum of Art Santa Fe, NM | Santa Fe Travel Guide Episode #2

The small but excellent Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, also on Museum Hill, spotlights the devotional and decorative art, furniture, and textiles of the Spanish colonial era. Youll learn about typical arts of the time period, including retablos and bultos , punched tin work, and colcha . You’ll also learn how New Mexico’s artists are continuing these heritage arts today. Plan ahead for the citys Traditional Spanish Market, held on a weekend in July, when modern-day artists sell traditional arts.

Museum Of Indian Arts And Culture

The Museum of Indian Arts and Culture provides a unique look into Southwest Native American heritage. Their extensive collection of Native art and material culture ranges from pre-historic times to contemporary works of art. You wont want to miss out on one of the top museums in Santa Fe, New Mexico!

Upcoming 2020 Exhibits: Diego Romero vs. the End of Art

New Mexico Museum Of Art

Open in 1917, the New Mexico Museum of Art became the first public building in the state dedicated to art. Its collections include works from early Santa Fe and Taos art groups, including Los Pintores and the Taos Society of Artists, which helped established these towns as art colonies at the start of the 20th century. While youre at the museum, which sits on the edge of Plaza, take note of whats outside, too. The museum was designed in the Pueblo Revival style inspired by the state’s Native American pueblos. The architectural style became a defining design in the Southwest. In 2021, the museum plans to introduce a satellite museum in the Railyard district called Vladem Contemporary to house those collections and mount more contemporary installations and exhibitions.

American modernist painter Georgia OKeeffe is synonymous with New Mexico. The desert landscapes north of Santa Fe, in Abiquiu, inspired her works for decades. Set just off the Plaza, the Georgia OKeeffe Museum is dedicated to the artists works, so youll always find sections of her paintings on display. Youll also see artifacts from her life alongside exhibitions on how she influenced other artists, depending on the season. Up for a road trip? Ask the museum about how you can visit her home, studio, and the lands that inspired her work. Tours show you the exact places she stood to paint and how she lived on a daily basis.

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The Best Museums In Santa Fe New Mexico

A trip to the City Different requires visitors to experience some of the incredible history and culture that makes this one of the most fascinating towns in the country. One of the best ways to explore this side of our city is to visit at least a handful of the top museums in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Whether you want to gaze at Native American art or uncover an interactive mystery, youll find an incredible collection of museums here!

For more things to do and places to see in the City Different, request our complimentary Vacation Guide!

Best Art Museum In Santa Fe

New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe. Photography by David ...

Wow. We often visit State Capitol buildings to check out the architecture and this one is interesting for that. It is round which makes it unique. However, the reason to visit for sure is that almost the entire building is open to visitors and every bit of wall space is filled with art by New Mexico artists. We spent hours here and could have spent more time but we had to leave to get to Albuquerque. There is free parking in the garage to the west of the building. This is a hidden gem in Santa Fe.


I was really impressed with the friendliness of the staff and the TON of diverse art available for public viewing on the second and third floors. I have been to a lot of state capitols and am also impressed by how NEW the capitol feels and how easy parking/access to the building is. I also enjoyed the outdoor sculptures and proximity to other historical sites downtown.

First I was amazed that our group entered the building with no security check. I learned that the legislators were not there and that is most likely why we just walked into the building. There was an amazing quilt exhibit of miniature quilts. We even got to go into a conference room and listen to an Assistant Secretary of Education on the state of education in New Mexico. It is unlike other state capitals that I have visited. It really is round with the New Mexico symbol proudly displayed.

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The Museum of Encaustic Art, as it continues to prepare to physically open, has also been busy expanding into a very exciting virtual tour of our 400+ works of art. The virtual tour is housed in a virtual museum building – designed by Douglas Mehrens, founder of the Museum of Encaustic Art and the Encaustic Art Institute.


Click here for a brief peek into what will be available globally.



From ancient beeswax to the modern crayon

Encaustic is arguably the fastest-growing art medium in the world. The Museum of Encaustic Art has the largest, most extensive, and best represented encaustic art collection in America.

ENCAUSTIC PAINTING Encaustic with Paint are painted with pigmented wax on a substrate, such as a wood panel, and are fused or burned in through the use of a heat source, such as a heat gun or propane torch.

ENCAUSTIC MIXED MEDIA Mixed media is a term to describe works of art composed of a variety of different materials. Unlike oil paintings and other mediums in which an object has to be glued or in some way fastened, encaustic/wax lends itself to mixed media quite easily and beautifully.

ENCAUSTIC PAPER & PHOTOGRAPHY Artists who work with paper in diverse ways or are primarily photographers create artworks in the category of Encaustic Paper & Photography.

Incredible Art Experiences You Can Only Have In Santa Fe New Mexico

Note: As the contemporary art scene in Santa Fe continues to bloom, we are excited to share the article “Incredible Art Experiences You Can Only Have in Santa Fe, New Mexico” from Alexandra Marx via Matador Network.

Santa Fe has a long history of being an art destination known for its turquoise jewelry, Western paintings, and bronze sculptures, but The City Different has a surprise for you.

Were talking art parties lasting into the early hours of the morning and secret, invite-only gallery openings. Seriouslythese brazenly nontraditional arts experiences deserve to be as synonymous with Santa Fe as the movie biz is with Hollywood. For some time now, The City Different has been quietly ranked as one of the largest arts markets in the US, with small, independent artists thriving here. When compared with the art markets of New York and LA, Santa Fe easily stands as an unparalleled beacon for collaboration and innovation in contemporary art.

Check out these seven art experiences if you want to see the present and future of mixed media and performance.

1. Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return

The fully interactive experience theyve created at the House of Eternal Return pushes the envelope of what is possible for an exhibition spacean idea that quickly garnered national attention before opening its doors in 2016, thanks to city initiatives and backing by business partners like George R. R. Martin. .

2. The Center for Contemporary Arts

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New Mexico History Museum

The New Mexico History Museum calls the beautiful and iconic Palace of the Governors building home. Rotating displays and exhibits highlighting the culture and history of the Land of Enchantment are the main attractions here. Its location on the Santa Fe Plaza makes it the ideal place to walk through during your tour of the historic city center.

Upcoming 2020 Exhibits: Working on the Railroad, Atomic Histories: Remembering New Mexicos Nuclear Past, We the Rosies: Women at Work, The Massacre of Don Pedro Villasur

Center For Contemporary Arts And Cinematheque

‘Breath Taking’ exhibit opening soon at Santa Fe art museum
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 5,049 reviews

The OKeeffe Welcome Center includes a store, classroom, amenities, and check-in for tours of the OKeeffe Home and Studio in Abiquiu, the Center serves as a gateway to the Rio Chama valley, with information about OKeeffe and the rich history and culture of the area. Tours of the Home & Studio run seasonally from March November with advance reservations and payment.

Reviewed By Ivanelofanich – Cardiff, United Kingdom

This is a small museum, well set out with a mixture of O’Keeffe’s artwork. Flower pictures, abstract drawings, bone paintings, photographs, New Mexico landscape paintings and New York skyline paintings along with a short film and timeline of her life.There was also a glass case containing her paint box and utensils. I loved it! We downloaded the museum’s app on to our phones and so we did a self audio tour which gave us time to properly look at the paintings.

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New Mexico Museum Of Art Vladem Contemporary One Museum: Two Locations

In 2014, as the New Mexico Museum of Art approached its one hundredth year it embarked on a journey to examine its founding vision and to explore future opportunities. The goal was to ensure that it would continue to be a cultural and community anchor and a generator of social and economic development in Santa Fe and New Mexico. Over the past century we have evolved beyond being repository for objects and into community-oriented spaces for engagement and education. As a result, we are working with our collections more dynamically, and broadening the diversity and reach of our exhibitions. The introspection we have undertaken in the past years has prepared us for our next step, which will be a transformational change for our museum. We envisioned a new space for contemporary art to complement the historic site on the Plaza, effectively creating One Museum: Two Locations which has resulted in the Vladem Contemporary.

Architectural Rendering of the New Mexico Museum of Arts new Vladem Contemporary, South West Perspective from Guadalupe Street. Image Courtesy DNCA + StudioGP

The architectural team DNCA + StudioGP of Albuquerque, N.M., were selected to design the conversion of the former Halpin building.


Exhibition Space at Vladem Contemporary
2,815 square feet

Educational Programs

Dedicated Education & Program Spaces at Vladem Contemporary
2,307 square feet

Art Collection Storage

Storage at the Vladem Contemporary
Painting Hanging Storage

Meow Wolfs House Of Eternal Return

Courtesy of Meow Wolf

The House of Eternal Return is the most unorthodox museum youll ever visit. While it’s technically an art installation, the first permanent installation at Meow Wolf, this tourism darling on the citys Southside is much more. Its an interactive art experience that takes visitors on a psychedelic trip through the multiverse. The creation of Santa Fe art-collective-turned-experiential-company Meow Wolf , The House of Eternal Return begins in a Victorian mansion and leads guests through room after room of fantastical environments, from a larger-than-life neon fish tank, to the glowing interior of a mammoth skeleton. Book your tickets ahead for a guaranteed entrance time as the lines get long here, especially during peak tourism seasons.

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The Best Santa Fe Museums

Theres so much to do and see in northern New Mexico, but visiting one or more of the Santa Fe museums should be near the top of your list of things to do while here. Santa Fe museums perfectly showcase the regions blend of history, arts, and cultural heritage.

Depending on what youre interested in, theres a museum youre sure to find fascinating. Here weve focused on 10 of the most popular Santa Fe museums.

  • The oldest of the Santa Fe museums is the New Mexico Museum of Art, which houses a sensational collection of works from Southwestern artists, including major pieces by Georgia OKeeffe, along with new exhibits of contemporary artists.
  • The Georgia OKeeffe Museum is the single largest repository of OKeeffes work in the world and is an absolute must during your time in Santa Fe.
  • IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts not only has the most comprehensive collection of contemporary Native art in the world, but the Museum Store offers an incredible selection of contemporary Native arts and gifts.
  • El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a living history museum located just south of Santa Fe, which provides an authentic glimpse into life during the 18th and 19th centuries in New Mexico.
  • The Museum of Indian Arts & Culture is the perfect place to gain a deeper understanding of the artistic, cultural, and intellectual achievements of the areas native populations.
  • Museum Of Spanish Colonial Art

    Santa Fe

    The Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts, opened in 2002, is the only museum in the world dedicated to Spanish Colonial art. What defines Spanish colonial art? It’s the art that arose in Spain’s New World colonies. Passed down through generations, there are still artists working in these original forms thanks to the support of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society who first conceived the idea for the museum in 1929. It took almost a quarter of a century to bring to fruition. The museum, housed in a former home designed by John Gaw Meem, often called the “father of pueblo revival architecture,” has a mission. It “collects, preserves, and exhibits the Spanish colonial art of New Mexico and beyond.” They mount about six new exhibitions a year. Ongoing exhibits include the Beltrán-Kropp Art Collection from Peru and A World of Art Filigree and Finery: The Art of Adornment in New Mexico.

    Recommended for Museums because: Spanish Colonial art is indelibly woven into the fabric of Santa Fe and New Mexico.

    Billie’s expert tip: If you want to see Spanish colonial art at its finest, come to the annual Spanish Market held in the Santa Fe Plaza at the end of July. Accomplished artists show their wares. There’s a separate section for young artists who will perpetuate these artistic traditions.

    Recommended for Museums because: Its uniqueness. The Pablita Velarde Museum of Indian Women in the Arts is the only museum in America dedicated to Native women artists.

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    Explore Northern New Mexico

    While visiting one or more of these Santa Fe museums should certainly be at the top of your list when visiting, theres so much more to northern New Mexico than art and culture.

    To start, there are the beautiful landscapes that serve as inspiration to the thousands of artists that have moved through this area. Getting outside and enjoying a bit of adventure is worth every ounce of effort. From exploring Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks to hiking and biking amongst the landscapes that inspired artists like Georgia OKeeffe, youll never run out of amazing things to do in Santa Fe.

    Santa Fe is also a world-renowned foodie paradise, with a delectable blend of Indigenous American, Spanish and Anglo influences making their way into a variety of tantalizing dishes. The city is home to more than 400 restaurants, with more openings all the time. They range from fine dining to uber-casual, with a healthy mix of farm-to-table craft foods and beverages. Restaurants arent the only places foodies delight in Santa Fe. The city is also home to an award-winning year-round Farmers Market and cooking classes.

    An Incredible Trip To Santa Fe

    People visit Santa Fe for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the incredible natural beauty found in northern New Mexico. As beautiful as it is outdoors, youll find just as much waiting for you indoors at the incredible variety of Santa Fe museums.

    Santa Fe truly is a city like no other, filled with undeniable charm, plenty of rich arts and cultural attractions, an award-winning foodie paradise, and an eclectic and diverse range of experiences that never cease to amaze. Its long been a cultural and artistic hub in the southwest, with influences from Native American Tribes, Nations, and Pueblos, through its days as a Spanish colony in the 1600s, and into the modern era.

    In 2005, Santa Fe was named a Unesco Creative City, which is reflective of the creativity that flows in this part of the world. Artists first began to migrate to the city in the 1800s, often coming for the natural beauty and unique blend of culture. Santa Fes establishment as a powerhouse in the artistic world was cemented in 1917 with the establishment of one of the most significant Santa Fe museums, the New Mexico Museum of Art.

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    Museum Of International Folk Art

    The Museum of International Folk Art is one of the most fascinating museums in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Artwork from around the world is the main highlight here. Toys, textiles, beadwork, household goods, and religious art from over 100 countries offer an educational and viewing experience like no other all visitors. This is a must-see when visiting the City Different.

    Upcoming 2020 Exhibits: Music Buena: Hispano Folk Music of New Mexico, Yokai: Ghosts & Demons of Japan, Dressing with Purpose: Belonging and Resistance in Scandinavia

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